The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
I've seen this aphorism many times in the last few weeks, and so I would be remiss not to write about this Joseph Campbell quote in this month's DEEPER blog.
First, let's be clear about what this statement means: In order to discover the treasure - to transform into the most magnificent version of you - you will have to walk into the cave you fear. You will have to do the work you don’t want to do. No one else but you.
Here’s my personal interpretation of this: no one is coming to rescue you. No one is going to make you write that business plan. No one is going to tell you to stop smoking or to loose those 30 pounds. No one will magically fix your relationship. There is no hero in the story of your life but you. I'm not saying that there aren't going to be characters that you'll meet along the way that can help, but what I’m saying is that it is ultimately YOU who will have to walk into that scary and dark cave alone.
No one is coming to rescue you. Only you can do the work.
The good news is…YOU are the hero! And here’s a three-part plan to help you begin the hero's journey:
1) Start now - Stop thinking that there will be a perfect, magical moment to begin walking into that cave. Transformation is like a waking a sleeping lion - it will always be terrifying and you will never want to do it. But you can do it. Start now.
2) Do the real work - (Creatives are notorious for this one!) Don't confuse posting this quote on Instagram or sharing it with your friends post-yoga class for going into the cave. You might feel inspired by reading this post, but please don't conflate intellectual expression with action. Action will lead to transformation, not thought.
3) Take a small step in - Don't be so concerned with getting to the treasure. Instead focus on moving toward it, one valiant step at a time. If you want to start your own business, take out a piece of paper and write down three things you can do in this hour to help you move forwards. If you want to live healthier, lay out your gym clothes on top of your alarm clock the night before. Take small steps in, and do this consistently and persistently.
Here's the thing - I can't promise that you'll get to your treasure at the end of this week, month, year, or even ten years. But I can promise you this - as long as you’re committed to being in that cave, taking continuous steps in the direction of your greatest potential, it's the journey into the cave that will transform you more so than the treasure.
It really is the path, not the destination. So take a deep breath and start your journey. The cave you’ve been waiting to enter is waiting for you to go in.
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